By any measure, the wildfires that struck Southern California last month were a disaster of monumental proportions. Over this past weekend, we saw even more fire. This time it was the Corral Canyon Fire in Malibu. That fire started early Saturday morning, and has burned nearly 5,000 acres. It has destroyed 53 homes and damaged another 34. Cal Fire has had to deploy 1,156 firefighting personnel, 163 fire engines and one helicopter.

As a matter of fact, I was talking to a friend who was in Mendocino over the Thanksgiving holiday, and he said a member of his family during the holiday lunch was a volunteer for the Mendocino Fire Department, who got a call and left immediately to come down here.

So you might say, in terms of mutual aid, the Malibu fire has affected the entire state. Luckily, no one has been killed as a result of the fire, but eight firefighters have been injured so far.

Unfortunately, what happened in October -- and what’s happening in Malibu right now -- are not the first time California and its people have been subjected to these kinds of fire catastrophes. Nor, I believe, will they be the last.

Ours is a tinder-dry state, made all the worse through sustained drought and the very real effects of global warming and climate change. We are seeing fires that burn hotter, longer, and with greater ferocity.

And so, as we look back on the recent fires, and as we work to analyze what went right and what went wrong, it’s not good enough to simply say, ‘Well, thank goodness that’s over.’

We need to be ready for the next round. We need to be better prepared. We need to honestly assess our strengths and weaknesses at all levels of government. And we need to begin to take action.

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinGOP rep to introduce constitutional amendment to limit Supreme Court seats to 9 Senate Dems petition Saudi king to release dissidents, US citizen Court-packing becomes new litmus test on left MORE held a field hearing on last month's California fires Tuesday.